So how’s that “catch shares” revolution working out for groundfish?

“Recent scientific analyses show us that fisheries managed with catch share programs perform better than fisheries managed with traditional tools. Even in the first years after implementation, catch share fisheries are stable, and even increase their productivity. The scientific evidence is compelling that catch shares can also help restore the health of ecosystems and get fisheries on a path to profitability and sustainability. These results, … these scientific analyses, … are why moving forward to implement more catch share programs is a high priority for me. I see catch shares as the best way for many fisheries to both meet the Magnuson mandates and have healthy, profitable fisheries that are sustainable.” (Former NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco to the New England Fishery Management Council pressing for catch share management in the New England groundfish fishery in Boston on May 19, 2009) Read [email protected]

4 Responses to So how’s that “catch shares” revolution working out for groundfish?

  1. JJ says:

    I still can’t believe she calls data from other fisheries applicable to a complex multi-species, multiple gear type fishery like New England ground fish.
    Fishery management is successful in many cases due to a variety of reasons. Usually catch share programs are utilized in fisheries where traditional management using a variety of effort controls (closures, total allowable catch, protected areas, etc.) has already been successful in stabilizing the fishery and protecting the stock. It would be easy to take a similar data point from fisheries with management as developed as those catch share fisheries and gush about how successful they are.

  2. Jim Clements says:

    How soon we forget.

    It wasn’t very many years ago the cod fishery in NE was shut down completely. That was under the old system before catch shares. Catch shares have nothing to do with the yearly quota issued by NMFS. Even with the drastic cut in the cod quota, only a small percentage of the quota is being caught. Could be warmer waters, ecological changes, predators (dog fish), maybe overfishing, but I bet it ain’t catch shares.

    I am a commercial fisherman in a catch share program in the Gulf of Mexico. It is so much better than the old management system that I would never want to go back, even though I have to least most of my allocation from other fishermen.

    • Privatizing a public resource while probably illegal or unconstitutional is not the answer to fisheries issues. In New England the effort by fishermen from it’s peak is probably down by 75%.
      From increased mesh sizes to increased minimum fish sizes. To buy back programs, to diminished days at sea, to decreased quota to catch shares/ITQ’s, to natural attrition to forced bankruptcy permit consolidation and what ever else you can think of.
      To still blame overfishing on the woes of the New England is not only foolish but it’s stupid. To not take into account the explosion of predators, dogfish and seals for example, to not take into account warming water temperatures. To not take into account the pollution and toxins flushed into our bays and estuaries and on and on.
      What’s plain to see here is that someone at NOAA/NMFS had better step up and do something about this lie being perpetrated upon the American people.
      How will any person of conscience tell their children or grandchildren that they played a part in the destruction of the oldest and most historic industry in our nations history. How they stood silent and allowed business’s and families get destroyed. Sounds dramatic, but this is the reality of what’s taking place on the ground right now.
      When will this madness cease?
      Congratulations to NOAA. You are now responsible for the importation of 94% of the seafood this nation consumes. You have been hijacked by radical ENGO idealogs who are pushing their national plan to destroy America.

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